[Effect of bone morphogenic protein 7 on nephrin expression and distribution in diabetic rat kidneys]

Hou-qin Xiao, Wei Shi, Yong Zhang, Yong-zheng Liang
Nan Fang Yi Ke da Xue Xue Bao, Journal of Southern Medical University 2009, 29 (4): 671-5

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of bone morphogenic protein 7 (BMP-7) on nephrin expression and distribution in diabetic rat kidneys.

METHODS: Twenty rats with diabetes mellitus (DM) induced by streptozotocin (STZ) injection were randomly divided into DM model group and BMP-7 treatment group, with another 10 normal rats serving as the normal control group. The rats in BMP-7 group received intraperitoneal human recombinant BMP-7 injections at 30 microg/kg twice a week for 24 consecutive weeks, while normal saline was administered in rats of the other two groups. Blood glucose and 24 hour urinary protein and creatinine (Ccr) were measured at 8, 16 and 24 weeks, and the rats were sacrificed at 24 weeks to obtain the renal tissues for detecting the expression and distribution of nephrin using immunofluorescence assay and RT-PCR and for examining the expressions of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) and WT1 using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Compared with the normal control group, the DM model group showed significantly increased 24 hour urinary protein, kidney to body weight ratio and TGF-beta1 expression, but had lowered Ccr, glomerular podocyte number and nephrin expression. The linear distribution of nephrin along the capillary loops as found in the normal control group became granular in the kidney of diabetic rats. The rats in BMP-7 group showed less urinary protein excretion, lower TGF-beta1 expression and greater glomerular podocyte number than those in the DM group, and the expression and distribution of nephrin remained normal in the kidney.

CONCLUSION: Administration of BMP-7 can significantly suppress the down-regulation of nephrin expression and maintain its normal distribution in the podocytes in diabetic rats possibly in association with a direct suppression of TGF-betasignaling.


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